Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Eating Crow Part 3: The Hitters and Hitless

Ok, I figured this section has dragged on long enough, so I'm taking the plunge and looking at our starting lineup. I'm forgetting the bench and the bullpen, but I will touch upon them in later posts. (A what to expect post is coming soon, listing some of the stuff I'm working on). So let's see how much crow I'm going to eat after these predictions.

Since this will be a longer post, I'm not going to reproduce in entirety what I wrote before, so take a look at the Outfield preview here, and the Infield preview here. I will write down the Cliff notes version of the post in italics, though, just for comparion's sake.

Scott Podsednik - LF

The groin injury is troublesome; it could really hamper his season. If he's healthy look for a year like last year, but with a full year's worth of stats. If he plays like last year, look for a .300 AVG and close to 80 steals.

Man was I high on Pods, which is funny considering how much we ride him over here on this blog. I did not expect such a monumental, Adrian Beltre-esque, drop off. I figured if he was healthy he'd put up better numbers than he did in '05 when he was hurt for much of the second half. In '05 he hit .290 with 59 steals, so my numbers weren't too much of a stretch. Fine, maybe they were. Pods sucked ass, and I hope he's on his way out of town. He can leave Lisa behind though, that's one Podsednik I'd like to see in town. So for the year, Pods hit .261 with an abysmal .330 OBP. He only stole 40 bases the lowest of his career, and his SB% was 68% which is also the lowest of the year. Maybe Pods was too concerned with hitting the long ball, he increased his total by 1000000%, which really means nothing because he hit 3 this year vs 0 last year. Ship him out!

Brian Anderson - CF

He's a question mark. He was hot in spring, so I think he'll come out swinging but then go through a really long drought. He'll be up and down and put up 15 HR's and a .270 BA.

Brian Anderson had stretches where he looked like a big league hitter, but he also had stretches where it looked like he could use another year of seasoning in the minors. BA started off terribly, completely opposite to what I thought; he was nearly Robin Ventura bad to start, but he eventually found his swing. BA is a very, very good fielder, and it was probably because of his glove and seeing others struggle in center that made me stick by him. Hopefully winter ball works out well for him, because I really want to see him in there as our center fielder. Pre-ASB he batted .192, and post-ASB he batted .257. He ended the year with 8 homers, or about half of what I predicted.

Jermaine Dye - RF

I mentioned JD's past injury history, which worried me. I thought he would hit .275 with 30 jacks and around 80 RBI's.

Man was I off again! At least this time I undershot someone instead of vastly overpredicting what they would do. I was sort of right about JD's injury prone-ness. He came down with a few injuries throughout the year, but luckily nothing major. Had the Sox contended for the division title, he would have had a legit shot at the MVP. Jermaine far exceed my expectations, I figured he would start slow like he always did and end up putting numbers up like he did in '05. He decided to start fast this year and didn't look back. He ended up hitting .315 with 44 HR, 120 RBI's and a 1.006 OPS.

Jim Thome - DH

I figured Thome would do A-okay at cozy US Cellular Field. I was looking at .300 AVG, 45 HR and 100+ RBI

Of the people so far I was the closest on Thome. He came firing out of the gate, but as the season wore on his nagging injuries seemed to sap of his abilities. By the close of the season, I was no longer expecting a HR every at bat, but rather a walk or a strike out. Big Jim hit .288 with 42 HR and 109 RBI. He also had a 1.014 OPS. I think a lot of people have forgotten this, but he led off the season with 18 straight games with a run. The longest such streak to begin a season and the second longest all-time. Big a summer of rest, Big Jim should be rarin' to go.

Paul Konerko - 1B

.280 AVG, 40+ HR, 100+ RBI.

Paulie had a very solid season. He put up a .313 AVG, 35 HR, 113 RBI with a .932 OPS. Paulie batted .313 both before and after the ASB, showing consistency throughout the season, but I can't help but feel that he went through some hot and cold stretches. Maybe you guys can help me out, but did he go through any extended periods where he stunk, or am I just over examining the normal cold streaks that players go through? What I can say for sure though, is that he lived up to his fat contract, and that my predictions weren't too far off.
PS - Paulie tied his career high in SB with 1.

Tadahito Iguchi - 2B

.280 AVG, 20 HR, 80 RBI would be reaaaaaaaal nice.

On the season Tadahito batted .281 with 18 HR and 67 RBI's. Prediction-wise I did decently, but I'm still not satisfied with his season. Gooch really needs to cut down on the K's. He had 110, which is down from his 114 last year, but still too many for my liking. Gooch also didn't seem to do as well situationally as last year. He botched a fair few bunts and struggled at times to advance runners. This problem may have seem amplified, because of Pods' struggles, but he didn't seem as proficient at small ball this year. Regardless, LONG LIVE THE EMPEROR!

Juan Uribe - SS

I cited the fact that he drops down on one knee, which pisses me off, and predicted 15 HR and 65 RBI.

Good news is Juan hit 21 HR and batted in 71 runs, exceeding my expectations. Bad news, his AVG continued to plummet after hitting a career high .283 in 2004. Last year he hit .252 and this year a terrible .235. Juan needs to get it into his head that he's not a power hitter. Walker needs to put some serious work in with Juanito. There are times when he gets hot and can carry the team, but that's invariably sandwiched by just absolutely poor hitting. His offense makes me want to bid him adieu, but he's super solid in the field and it'll be tough to upgrade the position.

Joe Clutch - 3B

I called for a somewhat breakout year, with Joe hitting .270 with 25 HR, 75 RBI, and 35-40 BB's.

Joe exceeded my expectations in everything but BB's. Oh well, so he didn't walk, no biggie. Joe Clutch hit .283 with 30 HR and 94 RBI. He only walked 28 times, but I'm okay with that because his approach at the plate looked a lot better. In years past, Joe would have a hole in his swing, but this year he was able to foul off the pitches he normally would have struck out on. With that ability he was able to hang around til he saw something to his liking. I was glad to see Joe continue on his late season form from '05 even if that means he's going to cost us a lot more. Will he stay or will he go? That's the question, and I think only Scott Boras knows the answer.

and finally...

AJ Pierzynski - C

I made a modest prediction for AJ, (which is code for I was way off) .260 AVG 10-15 HR

Mainly I was off in the BA department. He hit a healthy .295 and for a while was hitting quite a bit higher than that. He also cranked out 16 HR. It's funny how AJ developed a reputation for not being able to hit with runners on and/or runners in scoring postions, because he ended up batting .297 and .290 respectively for those situations. I suppose he must have come up empty in some key situations to earn Sox fans' ire. I think next season I'll have to make a prediction for something like teams pissed off, or times hit, or something like that.

That's it, the whole she-bang. I took my shot at this prediction thing and I did decently. It's tough making projections when you can easily recall exactly what you predicted. I nailed some players and was way off on some others, but overall I'm not ashamed with my work. The key will be to see if I can do a better job next year.


Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

Joe Crede would have been way over his numbers were it not for a bad back. His last month was atrocious and he had almost no power, hitting into many weak GIDPs.

Paulie had the same problem with GIDPs late in the season which might be the reason behind your skepticism as to his consistency.

Just about everyone on this team needs the rest this off season and I personlly hope none of them even looks at a baseball until February. Of course if Pods never looks at a baseball again I won't complain. I personally don't understand how he leaves the house with Lisa lying in that bed. (So I'm a pig, so what?)

Key performers: JD absolutely carried the team when Thome was down for a while. In the first half, nearly every time Joey clutch came to the plate in a big situation, he came thru.

Key Fuck-Ups: It's amazing that we're complaining about runs from the lead off guys when we were 1st or 2nd in runs scored, but outside of pitching, the table setters were the problem. BA, Pods and Gooch just weren't as consiste nt as they needed to be.

10/05/2006 4:31 AM  
Blogger Jeeves said...

R&R is just what this team needs, except for BA who needs some winterball action.

10/05/2006 6:52 PM  

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